Rose, Gasol lead Bulls past Cavaliers in opener
CLEVELAND, Ohio (The Sports Xchange) - Derrick Rose scored 25 points and Pau Gasol added 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 99-92 in Game One of the Eastern Conference semi-finals on Monday.
The Bulls led by as many as 16 points and never trailed. The Cavs tied the game twice in the third quarter, but the Bulls countered by scoring the next 15 points, leaving the Cavs to play catchup the entire evening.
The Cavs were within 94-90 in the final minute but Chicago guard Jimmy Butler banked in a jump shot over center Tristan Thompson, sealing the victory and immediately shifting home-court advantage to the Bulls.
Cavs guard Kyrie Irving scored a game-high 30 points and forward LeBron James had 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists, but the Cavs lost their first playoff game this postseason after sweeping the Boston Celtics in the first round.
They will be without forward Kevin Love (shoulder) for the rest of the postseason and guard J.R. Smith (suspension) for the first two games of this series.
Coach David Blatt kept his starters a secret until minutes before tipoff, ultimately deciding on Iman Shumpert to replace Smith and Mike Miller to replace Love.
Game Two is in Cleveland on Wednesday.
(Editing by Cameron French)
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